Cobb County Appeals Lawyer
The appellate process allows for the correction of procedural or practical errors during a trial that lead to a criminal conviction. In an appeal, you are asking a reviewing court to look at the decision and decide whether errors merit reversal of the decision. A Cobb County appeals lawyer is a vital part of any effective appeal from a criminal conviction.
Various grounds may exist to justify an appeal in a criminal case. For instance, you may disagree with a decision that the trial judge made to allow a witness to testify, or to allow a document into evidence. Whatever the circumstances may be, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to assess your situation and develop a case for a strong appeal.
Filing a Criminal Appeal in Cobb County
One of the most common steps that many people take before appealing their conviction is to file a motion with the trial court to ask for a new trial. In this motion, individuals may be able to point out errors that necessitate a new trial. Some common examples of these errors might include the admission or exclusion of evidence or mistakes made by the defense attorney at trial.
If this motion is unsuccessful, individuals may file a direct appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals. While there are some situations in which people can file an appeal directly with the Georgia Supreme Court, a direct appeal to the Court of Appeals is more typical. In an appeal, individuals ask the higher court to review the trial court for errors that might justify reversing the conviction and ordering a new trial.
In many cases, direct appeals may be unsuccessful. Nonetheless, defendants still may have other means of challenging their convictions. For instance, a Cobb County appeals lawyer might be able to assist individuals in raising constitutional errors through a habeas corpus petition.
The Appellate Process
The Georgia Court of Appeals does not hold a new trial or hear witnesses and evidence like the original court hearing the case did at trial. The court reporter for the trial court provides a written transcript of the entire trial from the recording of the trial. The court records also contain all documents, photographs, and exhibits admitted at trial.
Each party also can submit written briefs that outline their arguments based on the applicable law. The appealing party submits its brief first, and the state then files its brief.
The responsibility of the Court of Appeals is to review the record of the proceedings, including all evidence and testimony, and decide whether errors occurred. If the appellate court finds that errors occurred, then the court must determine whether the errors justify a reversal of the lower court decision.
Common Grounds for Appealing Cobb County Convictions
While many individuals may disagree with the outcome of their criminal trial, they do not always have a valid legal basis for an appeal. Defendants must be able to point to at least one error that justifies overturning their conviction. As an appeals attorney in Cobb County may advise, the burden of proving such an error can be challenging.
Various rules of evidence govern whether a trial judge should admit evidence to be considered during trial. If defendants feel that the outcome of the trial would have been different if the judge had admitted – or not admitted – specific evidence, then evidentiary questions may constitute a ground for a valid appeal. Likewise, if the judge made an error in allowing the jury to receive a specific jury instruction, there may be a proper appeal.
Another common ground for an appeal is ineffective assistance of counsel. All defendants in criminal proceedings have the constitutional right to be represented by an attorney. For example, a defense attorney may fail to present some evidence, such as the testimony of a witness, that could change the outcome of the trial. In this situation, there may be grounds for appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel.
Contact a Cobb County Appeals Attorney for Help Today
Once you have been convicted of a crime, you may lose hope and feel as if you have no other options but to accept your sentence. However, criminal appeals can be vital to righting any wrongs that occurred and achieving justice in your case. With a competent Cobb County appeals lawyer on your side, you may have another chance at clearing your name.
As appeals are highly complex and require adherence to many procedural rules, consulting legal counsel about your options in this situation can be crucial. Getting the legal advice that you need in this situation may be highly beneficial to you.